Tale of the tape on AJ McCarron

When you think about the QB prospects in this years draft it is the deepest a draft has been in a while. When a guy with the level of success and talent that AJ has is considered second or even third tier it is undoubtably a very strong group overall. There wasn't any mention of McCarron on the Mayock presser so I thought I'd break down some film of a guy who I think could have an opportunity to be special with an OC like Tedford that can develop QBs and wants a vertical passing game.

First film -

AJ versus ND in the BCS NCG as a Jr

stats - 20 of 28, 264 yds, 4 TDs

This game and the season really provides us with a look at what McCarron can do with a good OL. He reads through progressions and pushes the ball downfield very well in this game. He makes a couple NFL window throws showing accuracy and some good decisions with the football. A couple of back shoulder throws are beautiful in this game and puts the ball where only his guy can get it. Agains statistically the best passing D Bama faced AJ really had a wonderful game.

Highlight play - 4:36

It's 3rd and 6, Bama is up 21 - 0 right inside the 50. 3 WR SG set with his best WR Cooper strong side and Christion Jones and Norwood on the weakside. TE Mike Williams motions to the weakside pre-snap. Mike runs a sit rte inside the first down marker. Coop runs a 10 yd flag rte, Norwood runs an inside slant and CJ runs a deep outside slant. ND is playing man keeping his primary (Coop) from getting open but CJ gets a step on his man but he has S help also on his side but the step allows AJ to force the throw outside and CJ makes the catch down to the 8 yd line. This play not only extended the drive but gave him a chance on the next play to get a TD pass on a check down pass to Lacy.

Highlight tape 2 -

Bama vs Texas A&M as a Sr this yr

Stats - 20 of 29 for 334 yds 4 TDs

This film shows AJ a bit more under pressure especially at the beginning then scoring at the end when it was needed. aTm jumped on Bama's porous pass D early and went up 14 - 0 and AJ answered every single punch the Ags and ManIel threw at him and Bama would've lost had he not. This game also shows a lot of what AJ can do under pressure and diress. It was Bama's 1st SEC game with this year's retooled line and aTm's gameplan on D especially early was to throw everything they had at blitzing McCarron and throughout the day he really felt some of the heat and was still able to get off some really nice throws on his back foot, on the run, on roll outs etc. He has extremely good poise the whole game in a hostile environment and pulls out the W for Bama.

Highlight play(s) - 0:59, 2:29 (couldn't choose one between these 2)

1st play - Bama had fallen in a hole 14 - 0 early on after being rattled by the crowd and Manziels explosive start, AJ manufactures a beautiful drive using no huddle most of the plays. Ball is on the 22 Shotgun form with Vogler Bama's TE out wide on the weak side, Bama's receiving threat TE OJ Howard on the LOS strong side. He chips off his block and runs a slant flag while Bama's sr WR Kevin Norwood runs a go route to get to the corner of the end zone hopefully pulling the S deep and allowing Howard a 1on1 (Howard was a true freshman this yr so he came in relatively unknown so Bama's OC took advantage of that early on) but the S covers the middle and doesn't get over in time and Norwood has out physicaled his man for position and AJ McCarron throws the only pass Norwood could catch in his position. A beautiful back shoulder fade allowing Norwood to go up and get it in bounds, perfect read and pass gets Bama their 1st TD of the game.

2nd play - this one is impressive from the outset because AJ audibled from a run after his pre-play read. He notices a soft man coverage and 2 guys down in the box with no safeties so he knows he's gonna be blitzed and if the inside slot WR can get deep he's got an easy TD to tie the game so he audibles to a play that will force the deep MLB inside the box a flea flicker and makes the beautiful throw to a wide open DeAndrew White while getting plastered.

i have watched every snap of every game AJ has played for obvious reasons and I am of the opinion that in the right system like Tampa's he could be extremely successful in the right situation and produce much more than just being a signal caller.

Here is the final and my favorite film -

This vid is from this year during the ESPN broadcast of the Bama vs UK game and during the drive Todd McShay is giving his opinion on AJ's NFL chances, all the while AJ is crafting a pretty good drive proving everything McShay is saying wrong.

At the end of the day there are a lot of draft prospects at QB in this draft and only a few fit what Tedford wants in a QB for his offense. A QB like AJ McCarron who can manage but also win games, protects the ball very well, and has the arm strength and accuracy to be a pretty good NFL QB could be a steal if he falls to like say the 3rd or 4th round.

Finally I'll leave you guys with this draft prospect from a while back:

Poor Build


Lacks great physical stature and strength

Lacks mobility to move around in the pocket

Lacks ability to avoid the rush

Lacks a really strong arm

Can't drive the ball down the field

Doesn't always throw a tight spiral

Gets exposed if forced to adlib

I posted this because it is a few criticisms I've heard already about McCarron and this draft profile you are reading now is one of none other than Tom Brady as a Sr coming out of Michigan and a player that was extremely efficient and above all else a WINNER
Drafting a QB isn't an exact science but I hope Lovie,Tedford, and Licht do their homework on McCarron, they'll like what they see if they do.

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